Originally Posted by SuzieQ49
Rocky fought one very skilled 215lb man, Joe Louis. Joe Louis was old, but still connected many times flush with his jab. Liston in his prime had a phenomenal jab, better than Louis's. Enough to convince me rocky's face would get badly damaged by it on his face in. Furthermore, when rocky did get inside..he would be met with a man that had an abundance of strength, killer short hook, and brutal uppercuts in both hands...Rocky would take a lot of punishment.
I think you are correct in that it would be a harder closer fight than people think. Where I disagree is the effectiveness with the jab. In one round Albert westphal ( a D lister at best) who was even 4 inches shorter than Marciano slipped 60% of Listons jabs. Now, if a honest, overmatched non-world class opponent with that kind of disadvantage has that kind of ratio against the Liston jab what will it say about how Marciano might fare against the jab?
Joe Louis’s success with the jab against Rocky is overblown. For two rounds Louis was so mauled he had no room for his usual strong jab so he was forced to adapted it into a flicking defensive jab to try and find space. He did land but he did not find the space to land anything off it. Even then it worked only for 2 rounds out of 8 (rounds 4 and 5) and this was only once Marciano bizarrely decided to stalk and counter. In round 3 joe was taking as many punches back as he was landing even with those tactics.
Like you say Liston can compete inside as effectively without relying on the jab, I just think he would find it harder than anything he ever had to cope with in real life.